Snowball Cookies for Mom & Sandy Hook | #BloggersforSandyHook


My very first teacher was my very best teacher.  And I know that besides my sister and I, there are a number of other people out there who would say the same thing about her.

Snowballs | | #cookies #christmascookies

So I felt it was only appropriate to pay tribute to her with her favorite cookie as I join with other food and craft bloggers to pay tribute and unite in support of Newtown, Connecticut and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 I learned everything from my mom.  OK, maybe not Calculus and Physics – not really her strongest subjects.  But she did teach me the things that really mattered.  How to love and care for others.  How to accept love in return.  How to change diapers.  How to coordinate timing of food preparation for family dinners.  How to put others’ needs first.  How to iron, vacuum, dust, and do laundry.  How to listen, and be sensitive and understanding.  How to encourage achievement, and accept a best effort, whatever a person’s best actually is.  Should I keep going on?

And I know that she had a huge impact on so many others.  Seriously, she has a Facebook Friends list as long as your average teenager.  Except, unlike the superficiality of these teenage online “friendships” she knows the histories of all these people, and keeps tabs now on their careers, spouses, children, and other general goings on.  Practically every conversation I have with her, she says, “You remember so -and-so?  Well…..” and then goes on to relay some story that really only someone who truly cares would actually remember.  And in return, so many of these former students would tell you that she was their favorite teacher or advisor, or she inspired them to teach, or encouraged them to pursue another passion.  I still live near where I grew up and she taught, and we can’t go ANYWHERE without her running into someone she knows, and they just have to catch up.  Heck, this kind of stuff even happens in places like Disney World.  This may drive me nuts, but I am so proud of her.

Snowballs | | #cookies #christmascookies

And maybe, just maybe if every kid had a mom or a teacher or an advisor or a confidante like her, someone who was able to get through to them, then maybe we wouldn’t have to hear about horrible events like what happened last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It is teachers like her, like the principal and teachers in Newtown who did anything and everything to protect, calm, comfort, and, now, console their students.  You’ve heard the stories.  I can’t even relay any of them here because thinking about them brings me to tears.

And honestly, I have been a coward.  I have not watched anything on TV or read any articles.  My husband will start to tell me something he read or heard, and I shut him down.  I quickly scroll past photos of the victims and even the heroes that people share on Facebook.  A couple of my blogging friends have shared stories they have heard about people who were related to victims or other students at the school  I had to stop because I broke down in tears.  Part of this is because I am already highly emotional with with pregnancy hormones coursing through me, and I need to hold it together to keep my 2-year-old happily oblivious and myself as low-stress as possible for the benefit of my unborn child.  I need to protect my little boys for as long as I possibly can.

But part of me also doesn’t want to deal with the reality of what these families are dealing with, the reality of the dangers in this world.  My mom has never had the luxury of being a coward.  She has had to go to school after these tragedies.  She has been there when there were threats to the school she was working at, and even direct threats to her own safety and well-being.  This is one area where she has been an example to me, but I haven’t yet learned the lesson.  Thank God there are people like her that have learned it, and live it everyday.

Snowballs | | #cookies #christmascookies

To be honest, I hate making these cookies.  The dough is really stiff, so it burns out the motors on small hand mixers.  Using a KitchenAid breaks up the walnuts too much, so I usually have to mix it by hand.  A single batch really doesn’t make that many.  While baking them, you have to be super diligent – take them off the cookie sheet too soon and they crumble, wait too long, and the powdered sugar you roll them in doesn’t melt to create the almost icing-like coating, and then that second coating of powdered sugar just falls right off.

Snowballs | | #cookies #christmascookies

But will I ever let a Christmas go by without making them?  Nope!  I would never let my mom down, because after over 33 years, she has never let me down.

At the bottom of this post, you will find two sets of links.  One is a list of businesses and shops that are offering to donate a portion of their sales to support Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary.  I urge you to support these business, if you have any last minute Christmas shopping, or need any of these goods or services for yourself.

The other is  a list of bloggers participating today in Cookies & Crafts for Sandy Hook, our small way of supporting the victims, families, and community of Newtown.  If you have a blog and have posted a cookie or craft in tribute, feel free to add your link here.  I’d love for all of you to visit these blogs in support.

Don’t have a blog? That’s okay. You can still share something for Sandy Hook. Take a picture and post it on your Facebook wall, your Twitter feed. Share on Instagram or your Google+ or wherever you can to unite us in our tribute.  Please spread the word about this united effort wherever you can. You can use the hashtag #BloggersforSandyHook.

Something people always think about in times like this is how they can help monetarily. After some searching, we found the Newtown Youth and Family Services website. According to their website, Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a “licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.” All donations made to them are going to go back to those affected by the school shooting. You can find their website here.

I’d like to thank this special group who made this event possible:  Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks, The Red Headed Baker, Real Housemoms, Crazy for Crust, Something Swanky, Life After Laundry, Two Kids Cooking, Frugal Foodie Mama, The Doctorate Housewife, Heather’s French Press, Operation Dinnertime, Lovely Pantry, What’s Cooking Love?, Cupcakes and Kale Chips, Occasionally Crafty, Pint Sized Baker, Pineapple and CoconutWine & GlueLemonsforluluA Sweet Baker, Mom On TimeoutThe Freshman Cook, Sweet Twist of BloggingA Family FeastJulie’s Eats & TreatsEat at Allie’sHere Comes the SunThe Kitchen is My PlaygroundJust My Crazy KitchenThe Sweet Chick,  The Tasty ForkWholly Delicious Dishes,  Chocolate, Chocolate and more , Yours and Mine ARE Ours,  Kitchen Meets GirlDaily Dish Recipes, Sweet Bella Roos.

Snowballs | | #cookies #christmascookies Tell me about a special teacher in your life – whether it is a school teacher, parent, relative, friend, whatever.  I think we would all love to share these stories of inspiration with each other.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Snowball Cookies
Buttery cookies filled with walnuts, and coated in powdered sugar.
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2¼ c all-purpose flour
  • ½ c chopped walnuts
  • Additional powdered sugar for rolling the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ½ c sugar, salt, and butter, and mix well.
  3. Add the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the flour, and stir until well combined.
  5. Work the nuts into the dough.
  6. Chill dough in the refrigerator until firm.
  7. Form in 1 in. balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until barely set, but not browned.
  9. Cool on the pan for just a couple of minutes, roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar, and place on a rack to cool.
  10. Once cooled completely, roll in powdered sugar again.

Enjoy!  And please check out the links below!

Snowballs | | #cookies #christmascookies


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  1. says

    walnut cookies are my favorite & these look super yummy ! You take such good pictures Brianne you have me drooling. Such a good cause. I will enjoy making this with my kids ! Thanks for sharing !!

  2. says

    Beautiful post! Every post I look at today that is participating is making me cry, I know that is ok, we are doing something so small, but big in the eyes of our readers / followers! Thanks so much for sharing your story! Have a blessed day!

  3. Kathy Lane says

    Brianne, this is a really unexpected surprise! Thank you so much for the beautiful words…I am not sure what to say except that being your mother has been one of the greatest thrills of my life! It wasn’t always easy having such an intelligent child, but I did my best to teach you about love of family, God, school and self! You learned well and taught me many things! And, now you have given me the best gift ever…my grandson and my grandson-to-be!! Merry Christmas and I love you. Mom

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